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What Is an Unallocated Phone Number?

Unallocated Phone Number

Unallocated phone numbers are numbers that do not have owners. These numbers are available, but no one owns them.

Therefore, no one uses them. Phone number administrators generate these numbers, and network providers sell them to their users. 

You become the number owner when you buy a SIM card or register a new phone number. That number is allocated and will be used by you.

Therefore, when a number is unallocated, it simply means no one is currently using it. The number only exists because the provider has it available to anyone willing to get it. 

Unallocated numbers are standard. You have to buy them to use your cell phone. 

Why Would Someone Use an Unallocated Phone Number? 

 Unallocated Phone Number

Someone may use an unallocated without knowing about it. A number can only be assigned with the knowledge of the owner.

Some people use unallocated phone numbers intentionally. Certain situations where people use unallocated phone numbers include the following:

Numbers Approved by Network Providers

Unallocated phone numbers usually need an owner. However, network providers can make an exception.

They can allow some businesses to use the numbers in such a case. Businesses are willing to use unallocated phone numbers because it reduces costs due to no subscription fee. Telemarketers are high on the list of companies that use unallocated phone numbers. 

People with harmful intentions may take advantage of this provision. It is common for scammers and fraudsters to use unallocated phone numbers.

They get these numbers the way legit businesses do and use them to reduce suspicion and escape crime. 

People running away from law enforcement or under challenging situations exploit this provision.

Such people turn to these numbers when they need to call or text. Fraudsters and runaways use unallocated numbers because it is easy to discard them after use. 

Dialing a Number Wrong

Unallocated Phone Number

Sometimes, the network provider has allocated a number to a subscriber, but they must dial it correctly.

Since the network provider doesn’tdoesn’t recognize that number, they will tell you that it is unallocated.

For instance, if someone dictates their phone number to you and you miss a single digit. If you don’t notice the error, the number you dial may be unassigned. In other cases where someone else is using the misdialed number, it will just be a case of dialing the wrong number. 

Another instance is the use of the wrong area code. If no one in that region owns the number, you will get the “this number is unallocated” message. 

Unpaid Phone Bills

Phone numbers with canceled subscriptions or unpaid bills will become unallocated. After several warnings, the network provider will unassign a nonpaying subscriber’ssubscriber’s number.

The number may remain unallocated or reassigned to a new user. Sometimes, the subscriber may need to be made aware of the disconnection.

Therefore, it is likely that the number was previously allocated. However, due to some reason, the subscriber was cut off. 

You may also have to double-check the number of the name you are dialing. Sometimes, you might need to correct a mistake.

You may have the number saved wrong or missed one or two digits. To avoid this, let people type their number rather than call it out to you. 

In most cases, people with nothing to hide do not need to use an unallocated phone number. If you get a call from one, it is more likely to have a negative result than a positive one. 

How Did I Get a Call From an Unallocated Phone Number?

 Unallocated Phone Number

When an unallocated phone number calls you, you probably won’t realize it until you have to call them back.

When you return the call, your network provider tells you the number is unassigned. You can get a call from an unallocated phone number for several reasons. 

Firstly, some software can generate phone numbers that people can use to call other numbers.

These numbers are imitations of genuine network provider-allocated numbers. While these numbers can reach anyone, they are more likely to be unreachable when you dial them.

That is because the phone number administrators and network providers do not recognize such numbers. No network provider will allocate a number they did not generate to anyone. 

Secondly, you may get calls from a business that uses unallocated phone numbers. They use the numbers with the approval of the network provider.

However, these are not assigned. They only use these numbers to cut costs because those businesses do not have to pay a subscription fee. 

Moreover, you may get a call from an unallocated phone number due to network issues and errors. Sometimes, cell signals will bounce and reroute calls.

This problem is prevalent with international and roaming calls. Someone from another continent or country may call you with their assigned phone number.

However, you may see a different phone number when you get the call. The number may also resemble a variation of your country’s phone numbers.

The number on your screen probably needs to be added to your country. You may be unable to call that number back because it is unallocated. 


Unallocated phone numbers are not illegal. They are numbers yet to be assigned to a user. Network providers have them ready for people who need them.

Once subscribers pick them up, they get registered and assigned to that subscriber. 

There are cases where the network providers do not recognize some phone numbers. Misdialled and software-generated numbers are examples of such cases. Network providers tell you that a number is unallocated when they do not know it. 

Generally, people can only use a phone number once they register or subscribe. Nevertheless, some businesses, such as telemarketing, can only use these numbers with a subscription.

It is not uncommon for scammers and fraudsters to take advantage of this to push their illegal conduct. 

Next time you get the message that a phone number is unallocated, double-check that number.

Doing this will ensure that you have dialed the correct number. If that is not the case, it is best to block such numbers from being able to call you.

It may be a network glitch if you are confident that the phone number has an owner and this problem persists. Wait a little bit before redialing the number. 

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